The Dance of Acceptance

Here I go again; the dance of acceptance. I have a pattern of every so often “forgetting” that I live with PTSD. I’m not sure if it’s mental gymnastics that I perform with gold medal perfection, or that it’s normal when living with a chronic illness to experience fluidity of acceptance.

I deal with and know how to ride the waves of triggers, and day-to-day symptoms; that is part of my everyday life. I manage that as I manage my household chores.  It isn’t until I come face-to-face in a serious way with something I would like to do, but I’m unable to do because of my current abilities, that I remember that it’s because I have PTSD.

Recently I had to revisit my vocational abilities. That was extremely disappointing. I was the only one surprised by the same results. My family and friends watched me go through the stress inducing exercise knowing what the result would be, but they understood why I felt I had to go through it once again.   I would like to say that now I fully accept what my limitations are,  but I can’t be sure.

Last night, I had a conversation with my friend who takes me deep-woods camping once a year over the 4th of July week. We go into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area where there are few people and no sounds of fireworks. I’m super motivated and excited each year and in my head, I’m a great remote camper. But, the reality is, that I am triggered a lot of the time because of what happened to me in my past. I can work through the triggers, and I absolutely love being in the outdoors, but the PTSD affects my experiences.

As we were talking last night, I asked if we could try a trip where we portage more than once and go deeper into the remote areas. He said, “there is no way we can do that!” He explained whenever we have tried going deeper into the woods I get really triggered. We went on to talk about the other ways my symptoms come out during the camping trips.

Last summer, on a camping trip to the mountains of Colorado, I developed altitude sickness and we had to get off the mountain. We were exhausted by the time we got down to a low enough altitude and we wound up throwing our sleeping bags next to a river and sleeping outside under the stars. Sounds beautiful, and it was. Except for all the flashbacks I was having. I didn’t know if it was because I was tired, crabby, and just wanted to be in a bed, or if it was because of my PTSD. My illness is not my automatic go-to for explanations on why I can’t do something. Part of the dance of acceptance!

I began to have an awareness that what I wanted to experience while taking these trips, was not happening in a positive way for me. I wasn’t saying anything out loud; instead, I was doing a lot of negative self-talk about bucking-up, figuring it out, and stop being such a baby.

It wasn’t until we were talking about it last night, that I really accepted that even with my limitations I can still have a wonderful experience camping. As long as I’m with someone who understands PTSD and how to react (or not react) when I get triggered I can still experience and recognize the fabulously healing reset of being in nature. I can also find meaningful ways to earn a bit of money (and I have) while being mindful and respectful of what is healthy for me.

I have some long-lasting effects from the trauma I endured. Because of the extent of my trauma, I have PTSD. Maybe this is not a forever illness, I don’t know what the future will hold. Most days, I’ve accepted that I’m still going to suffer from symptoms and live with some deficits.

When I lose sight of this, I find myself getting very angry at my PTSD.  When the anger and frustration well up, and starts to boil over, I make myself stop, sit down, reflect, rest, and try to focus on the goal of what I want for my life.

And I’m sure, as it seems it has become a pattern, that there will be times that I am going to do the slow dance of acceptance.

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photo: Alexis Rose

Thank you for reading my books: If I Could Tell You How It Feels, and Untangled, A Story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph    

42 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Denise Hisey
    Apr 10, 2019 @ 12:56:20

    ‘-) ❤ that makes me happy!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Alexis Rose
    Mar 20, 2019 @ 17:08:52

    Thank you! I haven’t heard of him, but I’ll check him out. 💕

    Like

  3. Meganni Franklyn Therapies
    Mar 20, 2019 @ 15:58:44

    Thanks for ur sharing, ur posts see alwas helpful. HAve u heard of david goggins? He has helped me so much. He has just released an audible book. But u can find him on youtube xx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Alexis Rose
    Mar 18, 2019 @ 08:25:56

    Thank you, Nicole 💐

    Liked by 1 person

  5. nicolecorradoart
    Mar 18, 2019 @ 07:38:29

    Reblogged this on Art by Nicole Corrado.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Alexis Rose
    Mar 17, 2019 @ 12:58:16

    Thank you! You take good, good care of yourself too. 😊

    Like

  7. thanisamanyan
    Mar 17, 2019 @ 12:30:43

    You show lots of courage and character. I have by now used to the fact that most around me know I’ve got psychiatric troubles. Yet I feel shy of it in a public forum at times though the need to share overweighs. Anyways keep your lovely resilience up and live a beautiful life. We are all with you and you are there for those who love you.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. martina.franklin.poole
    Mar 16, 2019 @ 23:29:12

    That caught my attention as well!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Alexis Rose
    Mar 16, 2019 @ 13:21:48

    Thank you. I think having talked about it really helped. It takes from the inside just stewing around to giving it less power when I talk it through. Now I know the things I can do to make the experiences much better. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Invisibly Me
    Mar 16, 2019 @ 12:43:59

    It’s such a shame that something you really enjoy and look forward to is also so incredibly triggering. It sounds like talking things through through the other night helped with a few realisations.. “when I get triggered I can still experience and recognize the fabulously healing reset of being in nature…while being mindful and respectful of what is healthy for me.” I hope you remember your own words here when you’re next triggered and for when you go camping because sometimes, when things get tough in whatever we’re dealing with, it’s hard to remember the realisations and positive thoughts we’d had before.Xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Alexis Rose
    Mar 16, 2019 @ 11:16:15

    Thank You, Marian! 😊

    Like

  12. marianbeaman
    Mar 16, 2019 @ 08:52:22

    The phrase “the fluidity of acceptance” stood out to me. That expression names the feeling exactly. Thank you, Alexis Rose.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Alexis Rose
    Mar 16, 2019 @ 07:03:42

    I totally understand how the memory of traveling to the funeral would be a trigger.

    And you know what? You are definitely not alone in having those same (and more) unanswered questions.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Linda Lee/@LadyQuixote
    Mar 16, 2019 @ 01:14:47

    Thank you. I remember from reading your first book that travel, especially on an airplane, would be very challenging for you.

    In fact, after I reblogged this, I was thinking “But I haven’t had the severely traumatic experiences around traveling by air, that Alexis has had.” And then I thought about some of the flights I have taken and why I took them. Oh yes. A funeral. A relocation after my dad was arrested for almost murdering my mother. The heartbreaking end of a relationship. And more. Plus I keep seeing in my mind the images of planes flying into tall towers. Although I don’t believe that those huge towers could have turned to dust from top to bottom just from being hit by a jet airplane. Nor do I understand how jets can fly through steel girders without their wings crumpling or snapping off.

    But still. Even with all the unanswered questions, those are such horrible images to have come to mind when I think of airplanes.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Alexis Rose
    Mar 15, 2019 @ 22:10:37

    Linda, thank you so much for reblogging this. I can so relate to your anxiety with the travel. Traveling for me requires so much planning: how will I fly alone, navigate the strange places, crowds, being away from home, all the things you mentioned. It is amazing how we can handle some things with calm and then that PTSD kicks in and there is the reminder! It can be super frustrating sometimes. Keep breathing my friend. Sending you lots of love ❤️💐

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Alexis Rose
    Mar 15, 2019 @ 22:05:22

    Its beautiful…and Im so glad to hear how mindful and know what is best for your self-care. Some day is a great thought 💕

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Alexis Rose
    Mar 15, 2019 @ 22:03:09

    Thank You!!!! You have absolutely made my day/night/week! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Linda Lee/@LadyQuixote
    Mar 15, 2019 @ 21:46:30

    Reblogged this on A Blog About Healing From PTSD and commented:
    I am reblogging this post by Alexis Rose because I sooo understand this post. Although I have been amazed at how much improvement I’ve had since I underwent neurofeedback treatments in 2017, there are still certain kinds of triggers that can take me by surprise.

    Like when my husband surprised me last night with airline tickets he had purchased, so I can go to my granddaughter’s wedding in Connecticut in July. I want so much to be there at her wedding. And I’m super grateful that my husband cared enough to find a way to make it possible.

    But I have been dealing with the stress all day. I’m going to fly? All by myself? And be gone from home for four whole days? And then fly back? All by myself? Oooooh!

    We had a tornado warning a couple of nights ago. One of those “imminent extreme alert take shelter now” warnings. I was amazed at how calm I was. The very next day, a bomb cyclone came through with hurricane-force winds. Again, I was incredibly calm. Yaay, I thought, I don’t have PTSD anymore!

    Then I find out that I am flying to Connecticut in July. Four months from now. And I keep having to remind myself to breathe…

    Liked by 3 people

  19. Secret Keeper
    Mar 15, 2019 @ 21:11:25

    I’ve always wanted to go to the Boundary Waters Area…I’m afraid fo the triggers. Some day.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Denise Hisey
    Mar 15, 2019 @ 20:37:37

    I finished your book a couple of weeks ago…Loved it!!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Alexis Rose
    Mar 15, 2019 @ 17:32:56

    Thank you for the link.

    Like

  22. Alexis Rose
    Mar 15, 2019 @ 17:32:28

    Thank You!!

    Like

  23. Trackback: The Dance of Acceptance — Untangled – Living in Stigma
  24. cherished79
    Mar 15, 2019 @ 16:09:05

    A wonderful post, thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Create Space
    Mar 15, 2019 @ 16:06:36

    Receiving your warm wishes from Minnesota is such a treat! Thank you from the Province of Munster in Ireland. Xx

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Alexis Rose
    Mar 15, 2019 @ 15:37:07

    Well, from my home in Minnesota to you…Cheers my friend!

    Like

  27. Create Space
    Mar 15, 2019 @ 15:03:40

    Alexis it most certainly is if you want it to be! Or it can depend on where you live, how willing you are to travel and how much you like to party!

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Alexis Rose
    Mar 15, 2019 @ 14:59:53

    You too!! ☘️ Is that day as big a party day in Ireland as it is in the States?

    Liked by 1 person

  29. wediditptsd
    Mar 15, 2019 @ 14:57:01

    Yay! 🌞

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Alexis Rose
    Mar 15, 2019 @ 14:56:10

    I will definitely continue to dance with acceptance. 💕
    You know what ability I’ve gained from this? The ability to write. Seriously, I never wrote anything (besides signing my name in birthday cards) before I got sick. Definitely light from the darkness. 🤗

    Liked by 3 people

  31. Create Space
    Mar 15, 2019 @ 13:49:12

    You are so right Alexis, acknowledging, accepting, and allowing the flare to just be, helps. Have a happy St.Patrick’s weekend! Xx

    Liked by 1 person

  32. wediditptsd
    Mar 15, 2019 @ 13:41:12

    Limitations can hurt, especially things you used to do, maybe even take for granted. May you continue dancing with acceptance.

    Are there any things you can do because you have PTSD that maybe you wouldn’t have been able to? Not saying you’re grateful for suffering per se. Just wondering if you’ve gained abilities, too? 💕❤️💕

    Liked by 2 people

  33. Alexis Rose
    Mar 15, 2019 @ 13:01:54

    So true. Thank you! ❤️

    Like

  34. Carol Anne
    Mar 15, 2019 @ 12:29:55

    You are so right! You can still do all the things you love, despite the ptsd! it may just be that you have to do some things differently sometimes. xo

    Liked by 3 people

  35. Alexis Rose
    Mar 15, 2019 @ 12:02:00

    I agree, its finding that balance and then being okay with it, and adjusting when things arise. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Baffledmum
    Mar 15, 2019 @ 11:50:17

    I suffer with anxiety & this post really rings home with me… I think it’s about funding a balance, to continue doing the things we love but understanding our limits… It’s good your friend understands you & your triggers… ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  37. Alexis Rose
    Mar 15, 2019 @ 11:31:12

    Thank you, Ashley 💕

    Liked by 1 person

  38. ashleyleia
    Mar 15, 2019 @ 11:08:16

    Reminders of limitations are really tough. But you have really done amazing things, especially given the extent of what you’ve experienced with your illness.

    Liked by 1 person

  39. Alexis Rose
    Mar 15, 2019 @ 10:57:50

    Thank you! I love you a gazillion ways right back ❤️

    Like

  40. Alexis Rose
    Mar 15, 2019 @ 10:56:57

    Thank you! ❤️ yes, I bet it is a lot like anxiety and fibro. Both to me, would be so frustrating especially when those flares happen. And I imagine the more a person fights against a flare up the worse the symptoms become. Have a wonderful weekend 💕

    Liked by 1 person

  41. Rosy
    Mar 15, 2019 @ 10:50:41

    Wow~.
    I love you in a gazillion different ways.
    I truly appreciate your power.

    Sent from my iPad

    Liked by 2 people

  42. Create Space
    Mar 15, 2019 @ 10:37:21

    I can’t help but feel it is similar to anxiety and fibromyalgia in that it flares up, has peaks and troughs and throws us when we ignore the small symptoms and warning signs. Beautifully told Alexis Rose. Xx

    Liked by 4 people

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